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Fiserv Forum has come to a tentative agreement with workers on a $15 minimum wage. (PHOTO: Bobby Tanzilo)

Fiserv Forum and workers tentatively agree on $15 minimum wage

Fiserv Forum and Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH) have collectively bargained to reach a tentative contract agreement for an historic $15 per hour minimum wage for arena employees. This tentative agreement will make Fiserv Forum a national model for all service and hospitality workers.

In 2016, two years before Fiserv Forum opened, Bucks ownership made a promise to the people of Milwaukee that the arena's impact would spread beyond basketball.

"From day one we've promised that Fiserv Forum and the Deer District would be bigger than basketball and would create living-wage and long-lasting jobs for the Milwaukee community," said Milwaukee Bucks Senior Vice President Alex Lasry. "This partnership fulfills that promise and, more importantly, shows how much we value the hard work all those who have made Fiserv Forum one of the best places to work in Wisconsin and one of the top arenas in the country."

"Workers at Fiserv Forum secured an industry-leading, standard-setting union contract that raises wages by two-thirds from the previous non-union operation and ensures dignity, rights and respect for workers and their work," MASH President Peter Rickman said. "This contract demonstrates the power of unions to change the lives of working people and provides a concrete example of how service workers can transform the industry through collective action in a union."

"I know what a strong union does for a workplace and I'm proud of this contract. I hope it creates the path for everyone in Milwaukee to make a living wage," said Kenny Green, a retired firefighter who's now a Bucks security guard and elected member of the MASH Bargaining Committee. "The union brings together all of us — security, cooks, cashiers, everyone — and this contract shows that when we come together, we can win a living wage. We're all in this together."

"This is not just about now, this is about the future of Milwaukee being a city where you can make a decent wage," said Lauren Stevens, Fiserv Forum concession cashier and elected member of the MASH Bargaining Committee. "This is about my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren."

The tentative agreement includes a $15 per hour minimum wage for arena workers employed by Deer District LLC and Levy, who will see raises through a cost of living adjustment and longevity pay increase during the life of the three-and-a-half-year agreement.

MASH members are conducting a ratification vote this week.


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